FFfAW Challenge-Week of October 17, 2017

Hosted at by Priceless Joy


By Neel Anil Panicker

Mrs Pankaj rubbed her eyes in disbelief.

Another scribble on the wall. This time thankfully something a tad recognizable.

Two vertical strokes and a curved line below it.

What did that mean?

She walked into the kitchen and turned on the gas.

Nothing like some plain coffee to unclog the senses.

So they are back, their threat as alive as the morning sun.

She turned away and caught herself in the mirror.

Who says the fifties are history?

Innocent wide eyes that twinkled like the stars; a high cheek boned butter can melt bone china face that seemed to cock a snook at the passing years.

A smile crept up as a strobe of light streaked through the translucent windows and settled on the edges of her auburn all curls windswept hair.

They were her crowning glory, her pride, her joy.

It was only then that she understood.

It was them__the braid choppers.

And she, their next target.

The sauce pan hissed in the background.

She didn’t care. Her thoughts were travelling far away.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #FFfAW #flashfiction #174words



FFfAW Challenge-Week of October 10, 2017

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By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma hurriedly rifled through his trouser pockets.

He was a tad late; by the time he retrieved his handkerchief, he had puked__pungent bile dripping all over his freshly ironed police uniform.

“Sir, what to do now?”.

Bloody fool, can’t he see, what else to do now.

With great effort the senior cop controlled his burgeoning rage .

“Pandey, call the Forensics. Also, have the postmortem done. And…keep your trap shut.”

He watched his deputy turn away.

Then, despite himself, he looked down one last time at the body.

Young, maybe 22-23, white skinned, plausibly a foreigner, he surmised. His eyes noticed the half torn ultra chic clothes, a blue top furiously ripped apart, half exposed oval shaped breasts, and a criss cross of knife engravings on them.

He turned around.

Despite the early hour, it was as if the entire village had congregated.

A couple of men slinging cameras headed his way.

‘The vultures,’ he muttered, ‘already out for flesh even before the meat has turned cold’.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flashfiction #FFfAW #180words



FFfAW Challenge-Week of October 3, 2017

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Love! Now, what’s that monkey?

By Neel Anil Panicker

Rasheed looked across at the lone child amongst the protestors.

“At her age, she should be in school, learning the alphabets.”

‘Oh, is that what you think. That six year olds have no business hitting the streets, holding placards twice their own heights, smearing it with ‘Love’ messages scrawled in tiny distinctive lettering.  Is that what you really think, husband dear of fifty odd years?’

“No, not at all. I’m just ashamed of us adults; at what we have made of God’s beautiful paradise. Instead of bequeathing them a world brimming with love, we’re gifting our children hate-filled fiery hells.”

©neelanilpanciker2017 #FFfAW #fiction #100words


FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 26, 2017

Hosted by the highly resourceful PJ at


This week’s photo prompt is provided by shivamt25. Thank you shivamt25 for our prompt!


By Neel Anil Panicker

Seated at his corner table, Inspector Sharma turned left and caught himself staring at his reflection.

A man in a grey suit winked at him from behind oval shaped spectacles.

‘Forget the Commissioner, even my wife would not be able to recognise me’.

Sipping into his whipped cream flavoured cappuccino, another first, the cop glanced at the evening hour patrons at The Coffee Shop.

Men and women clad in ultra chic designer wears, sporting flawless skins and coiffured hairs sat around in comfy leather backed chairs clinking glasses and conversing in alien tongues as uniformed waiters wafted around attending to their missives.

“May I if this table is empty?”

Inspector Sharma studied the man who had eased himself into the chair opposite him.

The accent, unmistakably American; he looked thirtyish; the Hugo Boss suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban Glasses, and Tag Heuer gold watch proclaiming his wealth.

Looking into his eyes, Sharma spotted the tell tale white specks floating in them.

His heart warmed.

There’re still certain things money can’t buy.

The ‘50 crore thief’ had arrived.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #FFfAW


FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 19, 2017

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By Neel Anil Panicker

“Stop the bloody siren, will you. Don’t want the world to know”.

Inspector Sharma barked to his driver as the police jeep screeched to a halt on the kerb opposite the The Hyatt.

As the two sidestepped their way past the thick evening traffic, the senior officer’s eyes turned upwards, taking in the strobe of hexagonal lights that reflected off umpteen curtained windows.

Ah! The indulgences of the moneyed class.

The phone vibrated from inside his trouser pockets.

Angrily, he stabbed it to silence.

Bad timing! There are times murder takes priority over a wife’s ramblings.

“Any clues, Pandey?”

‘Nothing much, Sir. Around 30. She checked in yesterday. A single bullet. Shot through the temple.

The receptionist hastily put on a nervous half smile.


The lift doors opened. The two stepped inside, leaving behind thick smudgy imprints of their boots on the white marbled lobby floors. /

“Except what?”

‘Sir, a waiter saw a cop hurriedly leaving the room three hours ago’.

The doors shut behind them as the two made their way to Room No. 1408.

‘Sir, he said he had seen the man before… on TV. It’s our Police Commissioner.’

©neelanilpanciker2017 #FFfAW #flashfiction #shorstory


FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 12, 2017

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By Neel Anil Panicker

It’s been over twenty hours and Shivam hasn’t moved a limb.

Seated on a lone garden chair abutting the ICU, he is oblivious to the world, his eyes, stony eyed and transfixed, stares expectedly at the pot of flowers arrayed in from of him.

‘I’m sorry, she is no more’… , ‘We tried our best but …’  ‘Sorry but we couldn’t save her…’

As the minutes roll into hours and the hours threaten to stretch into days, his heart beats bounce around wildly smashing the inner crevices of his anguished heart.

With renewed energy and monk like attention, he focuses on the multi-hued flowers,

every sinew, nerve and tissue arching out of his by now spent frame.

‘Papa, take care of the flowers. I’ll come back soon’.

Her words, spoken in that funny toothless manner that 4 year olds are prone to elicits a smile from  his eyes.

He hears footsteps and turns around.

It’s the doctor; he’s smiling.

Shivam turns to the flowers.

They’re smiling, too.

©neelanilpanciker2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED #FFfAW #fiction #shortstory #167words


FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 5, 2017

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By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma looked one last time at the raised fingers.

The next moment he had left the hospital room and was making his way towards the elevator.

“It’s a murder. A well planned cold blooded murder”.

As the lift doors clanked shut, the ever smiling Constable Pandey bared his betel stained teeth.

“Sir, The doctor, relatives…All say it’s a natural death__massive coronary heart failure”.

Inspector Sharma looked across at the bloated frame in front of him, wondering not for the umpteenth time how the Police Department could be so naïve as to recruit such a bumbling buffoon.

“Look Pandey. What’re the facts. The dead man was 83, a bachelor, multimillionaire and with no legal heirs. Was being looked after by a 30-something virago whose got a crime record longer than the Nile.

They had almost hit the ground floor.

“…and he was paralytic, neck down; couldn’t move a limb.”

The lift doors sprang open.

“…which means someone raised those fingers”

‘Why would someone do that, Sir?

A hot blast of air greeted the duo as they hit the mid-afternoon Kolkata streets.

“That’s what I have to figure out, Pandey”.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FFfAW #fiction #shortstory